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Lebanese Hope for Internal Tourism this Summer

Lebanese Hope for Internal Tourism this Summer

Friday, 15 May, 2020 - 09:30
People sit at a restaurant on Beirut's Corniche. File photo
Beirut - Asharq Al-Awsat

The Lebanese are not planning for a normal summer vacation like past years, but as temperatures rise, they do not plan on living the same way they have during the quarantine, staying at home.

While some are planning to move to their summer houses in the mountains, others think that going to beaches that are not crowded is not dangerous, as long as there is no social mixing.

Former Minister of Tourism Avedis Guidanian expressed optimism that the grounds for successful tourism would be present in Lebanon if coronavirus cases decline sufficiently.

All that is needed is a "dose of hope" for tourism enterprise owners to revitalize the industry, he said.

Considering that under the current official plan, the academic year will be extended until the end of July with some exams being held in August, then a vacation as we know, will not take place this year.

Guidanian's advice is to "focus more on internal tourism", lamenting that during his term his main attention went to attracting Arab and tourists from abroad.

Today, however, the main concern should be to encourage internal tourism considering how difficult it is to move from one country to another.

Guidanian confirmed that the tourism sector is capable of contributing a large part of the Lebanese economy's revenues.

However, while restaurants and cafes are planned to reopen this summer, so far, beach resorts are still set to remain entirely closed. This has pushed the Secretary-General of the Syndicate of Seaside Resort Operators, Jean Beiruti, to demand that they be opened considering that they are in the open air and can be kept safe by using chlorine to disinfect the pools to eliminate any risk of transmission.

Despite difficult economic circumstances, restaurants are trying to provide their services while abiding by the recommended safety precautions and social distancing.

This summer will not be promising, but the hope is that it will not be entirely paralyzed.

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